Louisiana officials try to keep state from credit downgrade

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – State officials, seeking to stave off a downgrade to Louisiana’s credit rating, are asking a national rating agency to give Louisiana time to clean up its budget mess.

Moody’s Investors Service notified the state its rating committee will meet later this week to decide whether to drop Louisiana’s credit rating.

Treasurer John Kennedy, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols and state legislative leaders spoke with Moody’s on Wednesday to urge against a downgrade. Gov. Bobby Jindal planned to speak to the rating agency Thursday.

Moody’s issued a “credit negative” report last week that said Louisiana has a “structural deficit” in its budget, referencing the ongoing use of patchwork, non-recurring funds to pay for ongoing services.

Nichols says she assured Moody’s next year’s budget would rely less on that type of financing.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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